The Zimbabwe Bush Pump. This hand pump has been used in Zimbabwe since 1933, when it was first designed by Tommy Murgatroyd in Plumtree. It was restyled in the 1960's by Cecil Anderson and again by Dr. Peter Morgan, of the Blair Research Laboratory in 1987, when it became known as the Zimbabwe Bush Pump ("B" type).
It underwent rigorous trials between 1987 and 1989, and was accepted by the Government as the new National Standard in 1989. It has
remained the National Standard since that time. It gained international status in 1999 when it entered the public domain and international specifications were drawn up by SKAT (Switzerland). The Standards Association of Zimbabwe also house the Zimbabwean Standard Specifications.
The Bush Pump is characterised by the use of a hardwood block made of teak, which acts as a bearing and a lever mechanisms. This
has long lasting qualities. The pump stand is sturdy, the handle being made of standard steel water pipe. The pump, when properly made and installed is sturdy and forgiving. It can operate down to great depths, a few reaching down to a depth of 100m. Most operate between 30 and 40m depth on boreholes. The standard version uses a combination of a 600mm long brass cylinder with 50mm steel galvanised pipes and 16mm mild steel rods. The two piston seals are made of leather. A "user friendly" model has also
been designed with an "open top" 63.5mm brass cylinder which is used in combination with 65mm galvanised steel pipes and 16mm mild steel rods. The piston seals are made with nitrile rubber. This "open top cylinder version" makes piston seals replacement easier. Piston seal replacement is the most frequently maintenance operation carried out with the Bush Pump.
About 50,000 Bush Pumps have been installed in Zimbabwe, although large numbers of them require rehabilitation. An effective maintenance system needs to be re-established. The "B"
type Bush Pump is also used in Namibia. Zimbabwe is the only country in Africa which has standardised on a hand pump which originates in its own country.
It is the longest surviving hand pump on the continent, and is regarded in Zimbabwe as a National Treasure.
Pictures, videos, & downloadable resources
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Water Delivery Test - 53mm Open Top Cylinder model:
Peter Morgan describes an early Murgatroyd Pump installed in 1936: